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* Posts by Daniel von Asmuth

411 posts • joined 19 Aug 2009

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Causes of software development woes

Daniel von Asmuth
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Holmes

Speed kills

If requirements are ambiguous, implement it in Visual Basic, so that the result will be ambiguous too.

Agile seems to mean releasing new software versions frequently. Microsoft knows that customers are happy with one release every three years, which is supported for twelve years. If you have an urgent bug fix, you can be sure that a large percentage of sites will not have updated after a year. Frequent releases means more effort on design, documentation and such formalities, rather than actual coding.

Today there is little demand for new software or new features. The first concern is security, the second is reliability, the third concern is performance and the fourth cost of purchase and support.

Some companies still test software instead of proving the code correct with respect to a mathematically exact specification. Sure, user requirements are vague at best, but Apple and Microsoft kept developing new products and read reviews of version 1.0 for ideas for next versions. Where I used to work, 'user requirements' were written by the product manager and underlings nor customers were consulted. One requirement said that the packaged product should take up *at least* 10 MB of disk space, although the author may have meant the opposite (actually delivered a 23 KB package).

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Europe to spend €1bn on supercomputers and big data infrastructure

Daniel von Asmuth
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FAIL

IT made in EU?

"EU funding an EU project. Why do you still care?"

Because my country is not exiting the ever more expensive EU for years to come. Never mind the member states having their own HPC projects.

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Veritas veteran becomes new big cheese at Symantec spin-off

Daniel von Asmuth
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Holmes

Re: Are you sure??

We used Veritas NetBackup for years and I find one bug, which Symantec fixed in short order.... Veritas OpForce was complex and not supported so well.

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Watt? You thought the wireless charging war was over? It ain't even begun

Daniel von Asmuth
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WTF?

Charge of the light brigade

A decade ago, mobile charging meant sending victims big bills detailing every phoney call or text message sent.

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How are the shares, Bry? Intel chief cops to CPU fix slowdowns

Daniel von Asmuth
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Paris Hilton

Intelligence

There are no known exploits for the new design flaws - therefore you should update your systems.

The performance impact will be minimal - presumably less than 50 %, so your PC will still be way too fast (when the 1981 model with 640 KB of RAM is ideal and fast enough for all desktop computing).

I wonder if people who run both Linux and Windows will have to apply two different microcode updates.

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And we return to Munich's migration back to Windows - it's going to cost what now?! €100m!

Daniel von Asmuth
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Windows

A Bavarian Rhapsody

The LiMux project was estimated to have cost some 40 M€, so this is a massive waste of funds.

Apart from the desktop OS, a sigificant amount of money was spent on Wollmux, a forms processing application realised as OpenOffice macros. Replacing this will be expensive.

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Daniel von Asmuth
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Windows

Re: Hmmm...

Anomalous Cowboy wrote: "But Windows has far more in depth performance diagnostic features off the shelf than Linux does?"

No, but the Windows performance monitor is more user-friendly.

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Daniel von Asmuth
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Unhappy

Re: Hmmm...

No, you don't get a new CPU, you get a software workaround.

There is no time like the present for China to become a world player in CPU design.

Around the turn of the millennium I was able to read and write SCO Unix kernel variables (specifically uptime) as root using a simple shell script. Utilities such as 'ps' likewise ran in user space and needed to read process tables from kernel memory.

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Fridge killed my baby? Mag-field radiation from household stuff 'boosts miscarriage risk'

Daniel von Asmuth
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Boffin

Re: MF - EMF

If they worry about magnetic fields on the orders of milligauss, then the 50 gauss of a typical refrigerator magnet should worry you and the 700,000 gauss of a MRI machine should be enough to wipe out humanity.

Exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields has increased the amount of sex, drugs, and especially rock 'n roll.

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At Christmas, do you give peas a chance? Go cold turkey? What is the perfect festive feast?

Daniel von Asmuth
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Flame

nobody has commented on turducken

How about this for the ultimate Xmas dinner? Makes good stuffing for your ostrich.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-502605/It-serves-125-takes-hours-cook-stuffed-12-different-birds---really-IS-Christmas-dinner.html

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Daniel von Asmuth
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I've never hear of yorkshire puddings at all.

I'm immersed in Catalan recipes for this Christmas. The familiy has not tried British cooking yet.

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It's a decade since DevOps became a 'thing' – and people still don't know what it means

Daniel von Asmuth
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Go

Re: DevOps is still snake oil

"DevOps is not a skillset and it's not a toolset: it's a mindset."

That is why your company should certainly sell, DevOps, Cloud As A Service etc. and refrain from buying any.

The optometrist to me says that all this vague cloudiness can be resolved by buying a new pair of spectacles and then I shall clearly see.

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Boffins foresee most software written by machines in 2040

Daniel von Asmuth
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Boffin

Re: Warning: scientists

Funny, almost all the programmers I met have been scientists with only a small percentage of computer science graduates amongst them.

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Daniel von Asmuth
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Unhappy

Re: Clippy

Anybody can refactor 100,000 lines of code. Applications over 100,000,000 lines of code require a capable team and lots of time. Windows 2016 is a good deal bigger than that.

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Daniel von Asmuth
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Meh

In the year 2000

In the year 2000, Queen Elisabeth II will still be on the throne thanks to DNA therapy making her effectively immortal.

In the year 2000, economic crises will be a thing of the past.

In the year 2000, we will get around in flying cars.

In the year 2000, routine factory work will be done by trained apes.

In the year 2000, we have molten the Arctic ice cap to shorten shipping routes.

In the year 2000, users just have to say what they want in COBOL and the computer will write all the machine code.

In the year 2000, mankind shall witness the second coming of the Lamb for the End is nigh.

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'Treat infosec fails like plane crashes' – but hopefully with less death and twisted metal

Daniel von Asmuth
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Unhappy

Re: Plane accidents vs Infosec fails

There have already been fatal failures of computers and digital devices. Every day people lose work because an application crashes and and affected negatively by software bugs. Society reacts with the urgency it responds to spellling errors in newspapers. Only the millennium problem prompted society to address the problem.

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Munich council finds €49.3m for Windows 10 embrace

Daniel von Asmuth
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Linux

Re: Doomed from the Start??

"you can actually run Linux in the old 386SX Fujitsu-Siemens PCs"

Do you suppose the hardware would still be in working order? Do you still use 5,25" floppy discs and 9600 baud modems to access AOL? If so, you can run Debian Linux 0.01, but you should avoid XFree86 because that was such a bloat. No Netscape 0.70 either nor StarOffice, but solid LaTeX office suite.... Now if you have a real Pentium with 64 MB of RAM and a 10K SCSI drive, 100 Mb Ethernet, 21" CRT, the Penguin starts moving.

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Daniel von Asmuth
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Windows

Re: Doomed from the Start??

"If so, they'd have known how many and what software was Windows only."

There is no such thing as Windows-only software. There is only a price tag for either getting the vendor to port their code to Linux or finding a vendor who will build replacement products.

49,3 Megeuri? Guess that will buy Windows 10, Windows 2016, Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint and Office licenses for city staff for 5 years.

Reg said that the Limux project is supposed to have failed, but only a handful of policiticans seem to think so to the extant that they think at all.

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Daniel von Asmuth
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Megaphone

Re: Keep politicians away from IT decisions

Keep policitians away from political, economic, financial, and religious decisions!

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter awaits Microsoft Office exam winners

Daniel von Asmuth
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Trollface

Hagrid

Hagrid is my favourite half-giant. And like him, I haven't even tried to learn how to format a simple document with the Word of Gates yet, because software engineers have no use for something like that. Used to be good with WP 5.1 at the time.

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Possible cut to British F-35 order considered before Parliament

Daniel von Asmuth
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Paris Hilton

Re: Still not too late

Does the price of a F-35 equal that of two F18s? If Britain buys half the number of intended aircraft, does that mean the price per unit doubles?

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HPE straps AMD chip into 2P/2U server box with Epyc results

Daniel von Asmuth
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Holmes

DL 385

Some 15 years ago, HP already sold servers with that model number. A 'server' used to be a box that served up files to desktop users, and provided access to printers and the Internet.Now they've added GPUs such as you'd use for supercomputing.

I guess that before long we'll see a 32-core Xeon beat AMD's SPECtacular results.

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Chainmail tires re-invent the wheel to get future NASA rovers rolling

Daniel von Asmuth
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NASA reinvented the tyre

but the wheel will never tire.

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Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020

Daniel von Asmuth
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Facepalm

Windows are good

Windows are good for defenestration, esp. this 'fall creators edition'. Just open windows, drag and drop politicians.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defenestration

"She said the cost of the migration will not be made public until November 23,"

Would that be November 2023?

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Samsung shows off Linux desktops on Galaxy smartmobes

Daniel von Asmuth
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Facepalm

Re: Eclipse

This will make programming easier: you just write your code by pencil or fountain pen and use the little camera to scan it. Siri Cortana will recognise simple spoken commands, like "make".

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Computing in schools improved, but still needs major patching – report

Daniel von Asmuth
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Paris Hilton

Re: The real world

Andy103 wrote: "Everything changes so fast that what I was taught in school computing lessons could be considered redundant.".

Everything changes so fast.... when I first went to school, the UK was not in the Common Market yet and soon they'll be leaving. Computer Science has hardly changed, however.

"On the whole, the report concludes, computer education in the UK is "patchy", and needs to be improved again".

That's sad, as the U.S. is experiencing a boost in Machine Learning, so by next decade American phones will be smarter dan British ones:-(

Wonder what they're actually think a young adult human needs to know...

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IBM's next turnaround tool is ... a new open-source font?

Daniel von Asmuth
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Unhappy

The new ugly

On the upside, Big Blue has released a significant range of varieties (sans, serif, monospace) and weights, but the range of symbols (Roman alphabet only) needs more work.

At first sight, it resembles other fonts from about 50 years ago, but the 'I' and 'J' glyphs are oddities. You can probably identify this font from the right angles in the bends of 'f', 'f', and 'l'. The line width varies where lines join. The slab serifs are too heavy.

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Stop worrying and let the machines take our jobs – report

Daniel von Asmuth
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Childcatcher

Job title: Personal Assistant to Mn. Rob Ott

Middle-class jobs are endangered, but robots are simply too expensive to replace the low-class worker. There will be work for techies who keep the machines running - until that too, is taken over and our species becomes obsolete.

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SCO vs. IBM case over who owns Linux comes back to life. Again

Daniel von Asmuth
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Facepalm

Re: I thaught Novell owned the property

Novell just owned the copyright to the UNIX source code, it obviously does not own the company.

The distribution was originally Microsoft Xenix, then sold to the Santa Cruz Organisation (which became Tarantella), and again to Caldera (which became The SCO Group).TSG is of course bankrupt, but a successor 'owns' the rights to payments by IBM if it loses this case (originally claimed at 5 G$).

SCO Open Server was based on ATT Unix SVR3 and had a large market share among Unix-on-Intel variants in the nineties - Linux was cheap, except for Caldera's distro. They never proved that IBM ever illegally copied SCO into the Linux kernel ..... but Caldera may have illegallly copied Linux kernel code into their Open Server product so that it could run Linux programs. Linux continually improved and after 2000 became an enterprise class OS.

SCO now claims that IBM illegally copied parts of their UnixWare OS (based on ATT Unix SVR4) into their AIX on POWER (when they were working on AIX on Intel Itanium). I guess their chances of a major victory are slim since they do not own the copyright....

The lawyers win.

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A draft US law to secure election computers that isn't braindead. Well, I'm stunned! I gotta lie down

Daniel von Asmuth
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Coat

watch us die boldly

"States would also get a grant to buy new, and hopefully more secure, voting machines."

Apparently the law does not state that the states will buy voting machines and prove their security before holding an election.

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My #95Theses of #Digital

Daniel von Asmuth
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Relax, don't do it!

from Frankie Goes to Hollywood

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Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

Daniel von Asmuth
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SED is my oyster

I am fond of SED because I require pattern matching and replacing in numerous text files. Actually, quite a lot of text file processing... AWK is bloated. Perl is for weenies.

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Daniel von Asmuth
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Happy

LISP

The whole research is shoddy. Languages that only a handful know, say SNOBOL or MUMPS, will have low scores on the popularity chart.

Lisp is a very cool lingo.

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Mozilla devs discuss ditching Dutch CA, because cryptowars

Daniel von Asmuth
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Out-Of-Memory

Frank Gerlach II wrote: "The status quo is that all major operating systems contain backdoors for the purpose of reading any possible key material."

Do you have proof for your claim?

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Daniel von Asmuth
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Go

Re: Advancing our civilization into less a democratic state...

What You Deserve Is What You Get.

(The ruling Christian Democratic Alliance has already said that they will ignore the result of the March referendum, like Madrid ignores Catalonia's independence referendum).

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The UK's super duper 1,000mph car is being tested in Cornwall

Daniel von Asmuth
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Go

Re: Cool, but why?

Yes, they can, build a prototype. Producing and selling in volume to save the British automotive industry is not yet in the can.

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Forget One Windows, Microsoft says it's time to modernize your apps

Daniel von Asmuth
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Big Brother

Modernise apps! (5 year plan)

Thine mind embrace the newthink, as decreed by the Chinese Party Congress and thine code shall conform to the Modern UI, and no more shalt thou name it Metro.

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Gotta have standards? Security boffins not API about bloated browsers

Daniel von Asmuth
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Paris Hilton

The world needs a meta-standard

We need a meta-standard like a constitution so W3C knows what standards to decree, as if XML, Unicode, ASCII, XHTML, TCP/IP, DNS, and HTTP are not enough....

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DXC slashes meal allowances for travelling troops: Please sir, may I have some more?

Daniel von Asmuth
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Headmaster

$ 70 per day while travelling abroad

$ 70 should cover your expenses, provided you are travelling in Egypt and avoiding international hotels, but hardly if you're in Switzerland.

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Web uni says it will get you a tech job or your money back. So our man Kieren signed up...

Daniel von Asmuth
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Boffin

Re: Shortage ?

You can count the number of tech jobs in the United States, but how could you count jobs that do not currently exist, such as "Secretary of the second personal Assistant to Mr. Kieren" or "President's tweet speech writer" or "Manager of the Antarctica division of the refrigerator business unit"?

What you can count, however, is the number of IT specialists which currently are not needed by the industry. Or maybe you can take the total annual profit and divide it by the average tech salary to get the number of jobs that the sector could create if it were so inclined.

A good measure would be the number of bugs and exploits that lie unfixed and undiscovered in today's software, a.k.a. the nation's Technical Debt.

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HP Inc exec: Yes, we'll put a bullet in the X3 device

Daniel von Asmuth
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Facepalm

we are not an operating system company

That's from the folks who brought you MPE, HP-UX, Apollo OS, RTX-11, Tandem Non-Stop OS, VAX-VMS, OSF-1, and many others besides.

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Bad news! Astroboffins find the stuff of life in space for the first time

Daniel von Asmuth
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Boffin

Re: Word Salad vs Gobbledegook

Organohalogens? Chemists would call them 'haloalkanes' or 'alkyl halides'.

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China cools on Apple's high-priced iBling

Daniel von Asmuth
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Gimp

An iPhone makes for a good aspirator

"it shows the world you have taste and money".

I suppose Steve Jobs had money, but did he have taste?

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IKEA flat-packs TaskRabbit to crack assembly code

Daniel von Asmuth
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Happy

Re: Damn

Thank Gates! For a moment I feared they were trying to decompile the code my former employer sold them back in the nineties.

Or better, we gave them computers and software, while our company got a load of office furniture. Nor Svenksva Kroner changed hands so presumably no taxes to pay.

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Microsoft gives all staff a marked-up 'Employee Edition' of Satya Nadella's new book

Daniel von Asmuth
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Windows

Billy did it first

Bill Gates is the author of two books on IT (the road ahead and business @ the speed of thought) and he was also involved in the development of Microsoft Basic and he invented an improved pancake sort algorithm.

Do you remember someone called Steve? Jobs? Ballmer? Wozniak!

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Patch alert! Easy-to-exploit flaw in Linux kernel rated 'high risk'

Daniel von Asmuth
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Linux

Is that recipe Open Sauce?

The article was accompanied by a photograph from an unknown source, showing what looks like little tuxes, or maybe just black olives without kernels. .

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SQL Server 2017: What's new, what's missing on Linux, and what's next?

Daniel von Asmuth
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Windows

WinFS

"the aim is that core database engine features will be equivalent, with the exception of File Table which is closely hooked to the Windows file system:"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WinFS

WinFS is supposed to stand for Windows Future Storage. This is one of the core parts of Windows Longhorn and it will include the SQL server database, integrated into the file system hierarchy. Release date unknown.

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Quebec takes mature approach to 'grilled cheese' ban

Daniel von Asmuth
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Unhappy

Re: If even the Canadians can do it

The Dutch call it 'tosti', but they are wrong: it's called a croque-monsieur. The only result will be that the French and Québécois will start speaking different languages, like the Great Britons and United Statesmen.

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Compsci degrees aren't returning on investment for coders – research

Daniel von Asmuth
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Windows

Re: Peak Code Monkey

Anyone can write code, but few people can develop proven correct software. History and law graduates have learned how to think, but few possess math skills. On the other hand, a STEM cell often can't spell very well.

The interesting jobs go to CS majors, the best-paying ones to management.

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'All-screen display'? But surely every display is all-screen... or is a screen not a display?

Daniel von Asmuth
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No-screen display

A projector is an example of a display that does not have a screen built in.

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